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Rights Group Calls On Pakistan To Halt Execution Of Mentally Ill Man

Sarah Belal, the executive director of Justice Project Pakistan, has called for the execution of Ghulam Abbas to be halted. (file photo)

A rights group has urged the Pakistani government not to execute a prisoner with "clear symptoms of mental illness," who is scheduled to be hanged on June 18.

Sarah Belal, executive director of Justice Project Pakistan, which campaigns against the death penalty, said on June 16 that the government must halt the execution of Ghulam Abbas, 36, for further evaluation.

"Abbas's execution must be stayed and he should be transferred to a mental health facility to be comprehensively assessed,” the rights group said.

Citing a prominent psychiatrist, Dr. Malik Hussain Mubbashar, the statement says Abbas's medical records show he's being treated with strong anti-psychotic drugs by prison authorities and has a family history of mental illness.

Abbas was sentenced to death in 2006 for fatally stabbing a neighbor in 2004.

Pakistan is a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international convention guaranteeing the dignity of individuals with disabilities.

The country lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty after Islamist militants killed more than 150 people at a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in December 2014.

Based on reporting by AP and Gulf Today